In the weeks following the kick off, CCPA offered to help recruit players in the through their MENA Co-Ordinator, Safa Hadi, with tremendous efforts from the founders of league to recruit players for the league, starting at some places with only three players in one of the five participating camps to growing into a stable of at least 120 players and growing.
The men behind the league are no strangers in the European football scene, a team consisting of the legendary Per Bjerregaard whom built Brondby IF from scratch to one of the strongest clubs in Scandinavian history, creating a buch of hall of famers compromising of the Laudrup dynasty, Schmeichel, Faxe and Vilfort whom all passed the office of Danish footballs ‘Grand Old Man’ Bjerregaard throughout the years. Also behind the league, the former footballer and currently football agent, Anders Bjerregaard and the former scout & commentator, Henrik Lauritzen, who among others discovered the likes of Chris Katongo.
The five camps have managed to get eight teams for the league system, consisting of two groups, where the two leading teams from each group would go on and play in the playoffs in Slagelse Stadium, sponsored by the TrygFonden, with a great deal of help from the partner Red Cross. The first round had some of the most incredible incidents and scenes were played out; the Avnstrup A team won their first against Kalundborg A, in a game ending 8-0 with two asylum seekers loaned from their Danish 5th tier football team, sharing an incredible amount of goals and assists between them in the game.
In the second game, which was between Avnstrup B and Kalundborg B, also ended with a demolition, 6-0 was the result, again in Avnstrups favour, which showed no mercy and excellent scoring rate after months of training under the F.C. Lejre coach and chairman, Bo Wamsler. Kalundborg captain and coach, Abdi showed a great deal of Brazilian inspired touches throughout the game to no veil, yet his players has promised him that they would train more at their local club, Kalundborg GB to make their local community proud of their boys. The next day, Dianalund’s coach and his two asylum teams showed some tactical genius, avoiding the formation of a 1st and 2nd team based on talent as their counterparts, but rather spreading the talent evenly between two teams to gather as many points from the primary groups for Dianalund IF as possible. Which paid off in two of the games ending 9-2 and 2-1 in Dianalunds favour against the teams Korsør and Roskilde.
In which, the second game possibly had already found the goal of the tournaments. An amazing run from the Dianalund forward, Bland, whom ran from one side of the field to another, twice the distance of Maradona’s legendary goal against England at the World Cup of 86′. What a goal and what a bizarre aftermath! As the ball hit the back of the net, a thunderous celebration echoed through the field of Dianalund IF, which was out to support its asylum boys whom carry the name of their local community.
That thunderous celebration was quickly interrupted by a hammering silence… As Dianalund had scored its wonder goal, the goal scorer decided to celebrate by taking his shirt off, which was then followed by two teammates doing the same. Which rightfully so, was fallowed by three yellow cards. But what they had seemed to forget was, the rules of Danish Amateur football states that a yellow card automatically results in a 10-minute suspension, forcing Dianalund B to play the majority of 2nd half, with eight players against eleven, barely dragging in their three points in a 2-1 win.
The goal of the tournament is to integrate the asylum seekers through the Danish associative culture, whereas the asylum seekers join local Danish clubs with the intention of teaching them about volunteering, fellowship and giving them an opportunity to mingle with the local community. The three months up to the tournament, has bared fruit, some players have moved on to bigger clubs, others learned more Danish in their local clubs then in their Danish classes, some of the younger asylum seekers have gotten Danish friends, whilst the elders have made their network grow, which has even resulted in jobs. To be continued for the 2nd round of the Asylum League on September 12th and 13th.